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Glossary of Terms
Adopt-a-School International Benchmarks
All Aspected of Industry Internships
All Students Job Rotation
Apprenticeship (Registered) Job Shadowing
Basic Skills Labor Market Area
Benchmarking Learning Objectives, Performance Measures & Performance Standards
Block Scheduling Limited-English Proficiency
Career Academy Local Educational Agency
Career Awareness Local Partnership
Career Days/Career Fairs Mentors
Career Development National Skill Standards Board
Career Exploration Nontraditional Occupation & Employment
Career Exposure Occupational Cluster
Career Guidance & Counseling On-the-Job Training
Career Major/Pathway Portfolio
Career Map Post-secondary Educational Institution
Clinical Experiences Private Career School (Proprietary School)
Compact SCANS (Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills)
Connecting Activities School-Sponsored Enterprise
Consortium School-to-Work Coordinator
Contextual Learning School-to-Work Opportunities Program
Cooperative Education School Tutors
Curriculum Alignment Secondary School
Disability Service Learning
Dropout Skill Certificate
Dual Enrollment Skill Standard
Elementary School State Educational Agency
Entrepreneurial Projects Team-Teaching
General Track Tech Prep
Goals 2000 Technical Education
High Performance Workplace Thinking Skills
High School Completion Vocational Education
Integrated Curriculum Work-Based Learning
  Youth Apprenticeship





When a company or community organization adopts-a-school, it connects with a particular school, group of schools, or school district to improve the quality of education services. Participation typically takes the form of fiscal, material, or human resource contributions. Adopt-a-school efforts may take a number of different forms, including:

´equipment donations
´office supplies
´mentors and tutors
´receptions & parties
´letters of support
´scholarships and grants
´company tours

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All Aspects of Industry


As defined by the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, the term "all aspects" of an industry refers to "all aspects of the industry or industry sector a student is preparing to enter, including planning, management, finances, technical and production skills, the underlying principles of technology, labor and community issues, health and safety issues, and environmental issues related to such industry or industry sector." All aspects also includes the array of occupations and careers that comprise an industry, from the most basic to the most advanced.

The National Health Care Skill Standards Project has identified four broad clusters of health care industry occupations: (1) the therapeutic cluster provides treatment over time; (2) the diagnostic cluster creates a picture of health status; (3) the information services cluster documents and processes information; and (4) the environmental cluster creates a therapeutic and supportive environment.

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All Students


As defined in the Act, the term "all students" means "both male and female students from a broad range of backgrounds and circumstances, including disadvantaged students, students with diverse racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, students with disabilities, students with limited-English proficiency, migrant children, school dropouts, and academically talented students."

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Apprenticeship (Registered)


Registered apprenticeship describes those programs that meet specific federally approved standards designed to safeguard the welfare of apprentices. The programs are registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT), U.S. Department of Labor, or one of 27 State Apprenticeship Agencies or Councils approved by BAT. Apprenticeships are relationships between an employer and employee during which the worker, or apprentice, learns an occupation in a structured program sponsored jointly by employers and labor unions or operated by employers and employee associations.

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Basic Skills


Basic skills are essential academic and personal abilities that are necessary for success in school and the workplace. Traditionally referred to as the three R's - reading, writing, an arithmetic - in recent times, the term has been expanded by both educators and employers to include a number of cognitive and interpersonal abilities, including the capability to think and solve problems, to communicate information in oral, written, and electronic forms, to work effectively alone and in teams, and to take responsibility for one's own development.

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Benchmarking is the continuous process of measuring products, services, and practices against strong competitors or recognized leaders. It is an on-going activity, intended to improve performance; it can be applied to all facets of operations; it requires a measurement mechanism so that the performance "gap" can be identified; and it focuses on comparing best practices among enterprises that may or may not be alike.

Students at Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, SC, take mathematics and science classes that are benchmarked to world standards. To set benchmarks, teachers meet with employers and educators at other schools, visit local business and industries, and use guidelines from organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. All students at the school take four years of mathematics, although only three are required for graduation. Science courses clearly describe what students are expected to know. The goal of the benchmarking initiative is to help prepare students for the next level by helping them judge their current progress.

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Blocking Scheduling


Block scheduling is a means of reconfiguring the school day. The traditional school day is typically divided into six or seven classes, each lasting from 45 to 55 minutes. With few exceptions, classroom instruction begins and ends within the allotted time period. Blocked courses may be scheduled for two or more continuous class periods or days to allow students greater time for laboratory or project-centered work, field trips or work-based learning, and special assemblies or speakers.

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Career Academy


A career academy is typically a school-within-a-school that offers students academic programs organized around broad career themes. Often integrating classroom instruction with work-based learning, academies try to equip students with the necessary skills for both workforce entry and postsecondary admission. Staffed by a team of teachers from various disciplines, academy classes are usually block scheduled and smaller than those in the typical high school to build students's sense of membership in the academy community. Curricula are often planned with the assistance of business partners, who suggest program structure, provide classroom speakers, host school field trips, and provide mentors for individual students. Students may be placed in jobs related to their field of study in the summer, and may spend some part of their senior year participating in a work experience program.

The Academy for Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Administration, based in Horace Furness High School in South Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA), offers secondary students concentrated studies in the legal, governance, and criminal justice systems. To help students integrate their academic coursework, classes focus on year-long projects that explore a specific legal issue. For example, in studying the topic of DNA for trial purposes, students might conduct statistical analyses of its structure for math, analyze its composition for chemistry, and write a research paper on its discovery for English. Periodic guest speakers, mock trials, role-playing sessions, and trips to law firms in the area lend context to classroom instruction.

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Career Awareness


Career awareness activities generally take place at the elementary level. They are designed to make students aware of the broad range of careers and/or occupations in the world of work, including options that may not be traditional for their gender, race or ethnicity. Career awareness activities range from limited exposure to the world of work, through occasional field trips and classroom speakers, to comprehensive exposure. The latter may involve curriculum redesign, introduction of students to a wide span of career options, and integration with activities at the middle school level.

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Career Days/Career Fairs


Career day activities are designed to help students think about their interests and abilities in relation to potential careers, and to meet people who can assist them in getting the necessary skills and experience for workforce success. Special events are typically held to allow students to meet with postsecondary educators, employers, employees, or human resource professionals to learn about education and work opportunities. Information may be distributed through brochures that students receive from visiting firms or school representatives, via formal or informal discussions held in the classroom, or during tours of a business or college.

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Career Development


Career development is the process through which an individual comes to understand his or her place in the world of work. Students develop and identify their careers through a continuum of career awareness, career exploration, and work exposure activities that helps them to discern their own career path. Career development encompasses an individual's education and career related choices, and the outcome of those choices.

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Career Exploration


Career exploration generally takes place at the middle school level and is designed to provide some in-depth exposure to career options for students. Activities may include the study of career opportunities in particular fields to identify potential careers, writing individual learning plans that dovetail with career majors offered at the high school level, or review of local labor market information.

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Career Exposure


Career exposure can be defined as activities at the high school level that provide actual work experience connecting classroom learning to work.

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Career Guidance & Counseling


As defined in the Act, the term "career guidance and counseling" means, "programs - (A) that pertain to the body of subject matter and related techniques and methods organized for the development in individuals of career awareness, career planning, career decision-making, placement skills, and knowledge and understanding of local, State, and national occupational, educational, and ongoing market needs, trends and opportunities; (B) that assist individuals in making and implementing informed educational and occupational choices; and (C) that help students develop career options with attention to surmounting gender, race, ethnic, disability, language or socioeconomic impediments to career options and encouraging careers in nontraditional employment."

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Career Major/Pathway


As defined in the Act, the term "career major" means "a coherent sequence of courses or field of study that prepares a student for a first job and that - (A) integrates academic and occupational learning, integrates school-based and work-based learning, and establishes linkages between secondary schools and postsecondary institutions; (B) prepares the student for employment in a broad occupational cluster or industry sector; (C) typically includes at least 2 years of secondary education and at least 1 or 2 years of postsecondary education; (D) provides the students, to the extent practicable, with strong experience in and understanding of all aspects of the industry the students are planning to enter; (E) results in the award of a high school diploma or its equivalent; a certificate or diploma recognizing successful completion of 1 or 2 years of postsecondary education (if appropriate); and a skill certificate; and (F) may lead to further education and training, such as entry into a registered apprenticeship program, or to admission to a 2- or 4-year college or university."

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Career Map


A career map is a written plan of study that helps students select a coherent sequence of secondary (and where appropriate, postsecondary) courses and experiences to prepare them for college entry or work in a selected career cluster or area. Career maps are particularly valuable for entering high school freshmen, because they can provide them with the direction they need in scheduling their course of study in their career of choice.

Entering students at Roosevelt High School in Portland, OR, complete a "Freshman Focus" class that emphasizes career exposure activities. Students first rotate through each of the career clusters offered in the school, as well as receive life skills, self-esteem building, and group work skill instruction. Just prior to entering tenth grade, students draft career maps that identify a specific career pathway in which they will anchor their future academic studies. Mapping activities involve designing a career-related academic curriculum for the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades that may lead to advanced certification. Introductory courses in the sophomore year give way to more specialized coursework in the later grades. Learning programs include structured work-based placements that are guided by training plans.

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Clinical Experiences


Clinical experiences are school- or work-based placements in which students are taught academic and occupational skills from school or employee instructors who supervise and evaluate their work. School-based clinical experiences typically expose students to situations and settings they might encounter once they enter their profession. Simulations and role-playing allow students to home their professional skills in school under the direction of a classroom teacher.

Work-based clinical experiences offer students real-life activities in a professional setting. These experiences, offered under the direction of a practicing employee, are designed to help students learn the skills and attitudes necessary to become a competent practitioner. Both students and clinical instructors are typically supervised by school-based coordinators or intermediary organizations who monitor placements to ensure that appropriate instruction occurs. Students successfully completing a clinical experience program may qualify for industry certification or may receive credits that they may apply toward a professional degree.

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Compacts are contracts among community leaders to work to initiate and sustain local educational reform. Compact representatives may include community decision makers, school superintendents, college presidents, and heads of business organizations as well as principals, teachers, parents, and unions. Compacts provide a structure of mutual accountability because all participants agree to work together and separately to support group goals. Efforts on the part of compact members may include creating employment opportunities for students, helping to restructure educational systems, and providing local labor market information.

The Boston Compact (Boston, MA) was formed in 1982, when business leaders who felt that they could help raise the quality of high school graduates approached local authorities and educators with a proposal for school reform. In exchange for district-wide improvements in student academic performance and a reduction in the total dropout rate, business leaders promised to increase jobs and college assistance to high school graduates. Renegotiated twice since 1982, the most recent agreement in 1994 instituted new six-year goals:

(1) Easing students' transition to employment and higher education;
(2) Reorganizing traditional educational administrative and governance structures;
(3) Designing comprehensive curriculum, standards, and assessment methods;
(4) Providing teachers with training and professional development opportunities;
(5) Offering programs that help parents to support their children from birth to
school; and
(6) Creating community learning centers using school facilities.

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Connecting Activities


Connecting activities are programs or human resources that help link school- and work-based educational programs in the manner described in the School-to-Work Opportunities Act. Connecting activities include:


(1) matching students with work-based opportunities;
(2) using school site mentors as liaisons between educators, business, parents, community partners;
(3) providing technical assistance to help employers and educators design comprehensive STW systems;
(4) providing technical assistance to help teachers integrate school and work-based learning as well as academic and occupational subject matter;
(5) encouraging active business involvement in school- and work-based activities;
(6) assisting STW completers in finding appropriate work, continuing their education or training, and linking them to other community services;
(7) evaluating of post-program outcomes to assess program success, particularly with reference to selected populations ; and
(8) linking existing youth development activities with employer and industry strategies to upgrade work skills.

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In reference to school-to-work, a consortium is a group of two or more agencies that enter into a cooperative agreement to share information or provide services that benefit students. Participating groups may pool their individual fiscal, human, and material resources to take advantage of economies of scale, or arrange to share staff technical expertise. Consortia may be formed within educational sectors, as when a number of secondary schools collaborate to offer advanced instructional services, or across educational sectors, as when a secondary and postsecondary institution arrange articulated programs. Employer and community organizations may also join educational consortia, or form their own consortia, to support School-to-Work system building efforts.

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Contextual Learning


Contextual knowledge is learning that occurs in close relationship with actual experience. Contextual learning enables students to test academic theories via tangible, real world applications. Stressing the development of "authentic" problem-solving skills, contextual learning is designed to blend teaching methods, content, situation, and timing.

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Cooperative Education


Cooperative education is a structured method of instruction whereby students alternate or coordinate their high school or postsecondary studies with a job in a field related to their academic or occupational objectives. Students and participating businesses develop written training and evaluation plans to guide instruction, and students receive course credit for both their classroom and work experiences. Credit hours and intensity of placements often vary with the course of study.

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Curriculum Alignment


Curriculum alignment is when academic and vocational curricula are linked so that course content and instruction dovetail across and/or within subject areas. Curriculum alignment may take two forms: horizontal alignment, when teachers within a specific grade level coordinate instruction across disciplines, and vertical alignment, when subjects are connected across grade levels, in a cumulative manner, to build comprehensive, increasingly complex instructional programs.

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The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act defines individuals with disabilities as including any individual who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of that individual; (2) has a record of an impairment described in paragraph (1); or (3) is regarded as having an impairment described in paragraph (1). This definition includes any individual who has been evaluated under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and determined to be an individual with a disability who is in need of special education and related services; and any individual who is considered disabled under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. At the secondary level, counts of disabled students are typically based on whether a student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP). At the postsecondary level, counts of disabled students are typically based on student self-reports of disabling conditions.

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The term dropout refers to an event, such as leaving school before graduating; or a status, such as individual who is not in school and is not a graduate. A person who drops out of school may later return and graduate. At the time the person has left school, he/she is called a dropout. At the time the person returns to school, he/she is called a stopout. Measures to describe these behaviors include event dropout, status dropout rate, and high school completion rate.

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Dual Enrollment


Dual enrollment is a program of study allowing high school students to simultaneously earn credits toward a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree or certificate. Written agreements formalize programs of study, the transfer of academic and vocational credits among institutions, and the role of secondary and postsecondary instructors.

High school students in Norfolk, VA, can earn postsecondary credits at nearby Tidewater Technical College for selected occupational coursework. Student participation can begin as early as sophomore year in high school or when a student first enrolls in a high school vocational-technical course that is articulated with the local college's offerings. Students take both academic and vocational courses at the high school in the morning, then additional vocational courses at the college in the afternoon. Students receive college credit for their high school work after graduating from high school, enrolling at Tidewater College, and completing 12 credit hours of study in their articulated program area.

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Elementary School


An elementary school is an agency that is both classified as elementary by state and local practice, and is composed of any span of grades not above grade eight. A preschool or kindergarten school is included under this heading only if it is an integral part of a elementary school or a regularly established school system.

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Entrepreneurial Projects


Entrepreneurial projects provide opportunities for school-age youth to assess, design, and operate business and community service activities.

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General Track


The general track is characterized by a broadly defined curriculum that is less rigorous in nature than the academic and the vocational track. General programs of study prepare students for neither college nor the workforce.

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Goals 2000


The Goals 2000 Act provides resources to states and communities to develop and implement educational reforms aimed at helping students master academic and occupational skill standards. By providing flexible and supportive options for coordinating, promoting, and building a system of educational standards to improve education, the Act aims to make the Federal government a better partner in comprehensive state and local school improvement efforts.

Signed into law March 31, 1994, the federal legislation provides a framework for achieving eight National Education Goals by the year 2000. These goals are:


1) School Readiness - all children will start school ready to learn.
2) School Completion - the high school completion rate will increase to at least 90%.
3) Student Achievement and Citizenship - all students leaving grades 4, 8, and 12 will demonstrate competency over challenging academic subjects and have skills that will enable them to function in a democratic society.
4) Teacher Education and Professional Development - increase professional development opportunities and raise the instructional knowledge and skills of the nation's teaching force.
5) Mathematics and Science - build student math and science achievement to be first in the world.
6) Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning - make every adult American literate and equip them with the knowledge and skills to compete in a global economy and exercise their citizenship responsibilities.
7) Safe, Disciplined, and Alcohol - and Drug-Free Schools - offer a disciplined environment conducive to learning in every school, free of drugs, violence, and unauthorized firearms and alcohol.
8) Parental Participation - increase parental participation in promoting the social, emotional, and academic growth of children.

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High Performance Workplace


A workplace that employs sophisticated, technically advanced and efficient production techniques. In order for this type of workplace to function, workers must be equipped with advanced thinking and occupational skills that enable them to learn on the job, adapt to rapidly changing technology, and work in teams to solve problems. In addition to their economic development potential, high performance workplaces may help drive school reform by providing educators with a set of occupational skill standards that are required for marketplace success.

Employees of the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, one such high-performance workplace, must successfully complete a Training Certificate to learn how to perform to the standards in their position. Hallmarks of the program include a comprehensive orientation followed by on-the-job training and job certification. Because of the nature of the industry, employees are expected to posses a number of high performance traits, including the ability to work together in teams, and to perform a wide variety of tasks.

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High School Completion


Most students complete high school by finishing the requisite secondary course work to receive a regular high school diploma. The total number of credits, courses, or Carnegie units that must be completed vary by state. In some cases, minimum requirements for high school completion are legislated statewide, in others it is left to local districts to determine minimum course and content standards. A relatively small number of students may complete high school by receiving an alternative high school credential, such as a General Education Development (GED) certificate, certificate of completion, or certificate of attendance. The term does not distinguish how long it takes to achieve the high school credential.

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Integrated Curriculum


Integrated curriculum is when academic and occupational or career subject matter - normally offered in separate courses - are taught in a manner that emphasizes relationships among the disciplines. Integrated curriculum may take many forms, ranging from the simple introduction of academics into traditional occupational courses to comprehensive programs that organize all instruction around career major themes.

Students at Sussex Technical High School (Sussex County, DE) choose from four technology clusters: Automotive Diesel; Business; Health/Human Services; and Industrial/Engineering Technologies. Instruction within each cluster area emphasizes integrating academic and technical course work. For example, students in the Industrial/Engineering program study American history by preparing written outlines and oral presentations that document construction techniques used by colonists. As an activity students actually design and build replicas of colonial cabins and canoes.

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International Benchmarks


International benchmarks are measures of products, services, and practices. They set standards that American schools, companies, students, and workers can use to compare their achievements with those of foreign partners and competitors.

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1. Student internships are situations where students work for an employer for a specific period of time to learn about a particular industry or occupation. Students' workplace activities may include special projects, a sample of tasks from different jobs, or tasks from a single occupation. These may or may not include financial compensation.


2. Teacher internships are work-site experiences of at least two weeks in duration for teacher. During this time, teachers may work at a particular job at the firm to learn specific skills, or rotate throughout the firm to learn all aspects of the industry in which they are employed. This may or may not include financial compensation.

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Job Rotation


Job rotation is when workers periodically transfer among a number of different positions and tasks that require different skills and responsibilities. Among the reasons employers rotate job tasks is to help workers understand: the different steps that go into creating a product and/or service delivery; how their own effort affects the quality and efficiency of production and customer service; and, how each member of the team contributes to the process. Job rotation may require that employees possess a wide range of general and specific skills and that they undergo advanced training to enable them to perform a variety of work functions.

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Job Shadowing


Job shadowing is typically a part of career exploration activities in late middle and early high school. A student follows an employee at a firm for one or more days to learn about a particular occupation or industry. Job shadowing can help students explore a range of career objectives and select a career major for the latter part of high school.

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Labor Market Area


As defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a labor market area is "an economically integrated geographic area within which individuals can reside and find employment within a reasonable distance, or can readily change employment without changing their place of residence." Labor markets are classified as either metropolitan or non-metropolitan (small labor market) areas. In 1994, a total of 2,378 labor market areas were identified: 329 metropolitan areas, and 2,049 non-metropolitan areas. Labor market areas are identified in order to standardize and promote comparability for the collection and use of labor force information in administering various government programs. Areas are reevaluated and updated every 10 years using the latest Decennial Census information.

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Learning Objectives, Performance Measures and Performance Standards


Educators sometimes develop performance measurement systems to assess student achievement, monitor school progress, and support program improvement. The terms learning objectives, performance measures, and performance standards are used to define each part of the three-part process of establishing a performance measurement system. The process begins with identifying learning objectives for students or other program participants. After identifying these objectives, it is then necessary to decide how to measure their attainment. After developing appropriate performance measures, standards must then be set to represent the level of performance that is desired. The three terms are defined below:

1. Learning Objectives: Summarize the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students will be expected to achieve. A learning objective answers the question, "What do we want students to know, understand, or be able to do?"
2. Performance Measures: Describe how attainment of the learning objectives will be measured or assessed. Performance measures typically rely on standardized tests, performance assessments, surveys, or other methods of documenting and quantifying performance. A performance measure answers the question, "How will we measure attainment of the learning objectives?"
3. Performance Standards: Set the level of knowledge or skill mastery that students or schools will be expected to attain. Performance standards define the minimum acceptable level of achievement on the performance measures for each learning objective. A performance standard answers the question, "How much is enough?"

Learning objectives, performance measures and performance standards can be developed for individuals as well as entire districts, schools, or programs. The following table illustrates how this might be done in the area of mathematics achievement.

  Student Level District, School, or Program Level
1. Learning Objective "What?" Student will attain mathematics Same proficiency as identified for his or her grade level


2. Performance Measure "How?" State mathematics achievement test score Average score on the statemathematics achievement test
3. Performance Standard "How much?" Student will score at or above grade level At least 80 percent of students will score at or above grade level

Example of Learning Objectives, Performance Measures and Standards for Mathematics Achievement

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Limited-English Proficiency


The 1988 Bilingual Education Act describes a limited English proficient student as one who (1) meets one or more of the following conditions: (a) the student was born outside of the United States or whose native language is not English; (b) the student comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; or (c) the student is American Indian or Alaskan Native and comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on his/her level of English language proficiency; and (2) has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language to be denied the opportunity to learn successfully in English-only classrooms.

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Local Educational Agency


A local educational agency (LEA) is a local level administrative unit that exists primarily to operate public schools or to contract for public school services. Its synonyms include "school district" and "local basic administrative unit."

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Local Partnership


As defined by the Act, "the term 'local partnership' means a local entity that is responsible for local School-to-Work Opportunities programs and that - (A) consist of employers, representatives of local educational agencies and local postsecondary educational institutions (including representatives of area vocational education schools, where applicable), local educators (such as teachers, counselors, or administrators), representatives of labor organizations or non-managerial employee representatives, and students; and (B) may include other entities, such as - employer organizations; community-based organizations; national trade associations working at the local levels; industrial extension centers; rehabilitation agencies and organizations; registered apprenticeship agencies; local vocational education entities; proprietary institutions of higher education...; local government agencies; parent organizations; teacher organizations; vocational student organizations; private industry councils...; federally recognized Indian tribes, Indian organizations, Alaska Native villages..., and Native Hawaiian entities."

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1. A School Site Mentor is defined in the Act as, "a professional employed at a school who is designated as the advocate for a particular student, and who works in consultation with classroom teachers, counselors, related service personnel, and the employer of the student to design and monitor the progress of the School-to-Work Opportunities program of the student."


2. A Workplace Mentor is defined in the Act as, "an employee or other individual, approved by the employer at a workplace, who possesses the skills and knowledge to be mastered by a student, and who instructs the student, critiques the performance of the student, challenges the student to perform well, and works in consultation with classroom teachers and the employer of the student."

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National Skill Standards Board


Established under Title V of the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the National Skill Standards Board serves as a catalyst to stimulate the development and adoption of a voluntary national system of skill standards, assessment, and certification of attainment criteria.

This system of skill standards is intended to increase the economic competitiveness of the United States by aiding:


´industries in informing training providers and prospective employees of skill needs;
´employers in evaluating skill levels of applicants and designing training for existing workers;
´labor organizations in improving employment security and providing portable credentials;
´workers in obtaining skill certification that enhances career advancement and job security;
´students and entry level workers in identifying skill levels necessary for high wage jobs;
´training providers and educators in determining appropriate training services; and
´government in evaluating outcomes of publicly funded training programs.

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Nontraditional Occupation and Employment


As defined in the Women Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations Act, the term nontraditional occupations refers to occupations and jobs in which women make up 25 percent or less of the total numbers of workers.

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Occupational Cluster


An occupational cluster is a grouping of occupations from one or more industries that share common skill requirements. Occupational clusters form the basis for developing national skill standards, organizing instruction in all aspects of an industry, establishing career academies, and creating career pathways or majors as part of school-to-work programs.

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On-the-job training is hands-on training in specific occupational skills that students receive as part of their workplace experiences.

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A portfolio is a collection of work that documents a student's educational performance over time. While there is no standard format that a portfolio must take, it typically includes a range of materials (e.g., reports, photographs) selected by the student. A brief introduction and summary statement may describe how the portfolios was assembled and what was learned in the compilation process. Portfolio may be used for a variety of purposes, including: increasing student learning opportunities; helping student demonstrate a wide variety of skills; assisting students in recognizing their own academic growth; and teaching students to take greater responsibility for their own learning and development. Instructors report that the portfolio process can increase collaboration with students, provide an alternative means of observing students' cognitive and academic progress, help drive program improvement, and foster professional development by helping teachers to organize and manage their curriculum.

Since 1991, the State of Kentucky has required all students to develop writing and math portfolios. Portfolios are intended to exhibit a purposeful selection of work that highlights a student's academic achievement. For example, a Grade 12 Writing Portfolio must include a personal narrative or memoir, a short story, poem, or play; and three pieces of writing in which students predict an outcome, solve a problem, draw a conclusion, defend a position, explain a process, create a model, or analyze a situation. Teachers use completed projects to integrate performance assessment with instruction, to provide information for curriculum development, and to demonstrate gains in student achievement over time.

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Post-secondary Educational Institution


A postsecondary educational institution is a school that provides formal instructional programs with a curriculum designed primarily for students who have completed the requirements for a high school diploma or equivalency certificate. This includes programs of an academic, vocational and continuing professional education purpose, but excludes vocational and adult basic education programs.

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Private Career School (proprietary school)


As defined by the U.S. Department of Education, a proprietary institution is "an educational institution that is under private control but whose profits derive from revenues subject to taxation." Private career schools typically include postsecondary institutions that are independently owned and operated as a profit-making enterprise.

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SCANS (Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills)


The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) was convened in February 1990 to examine the demands of the workplace and to determine whether the current and future workforce is capable of meeting those demands. The Commission was directed to: (1) define the skills needed for employment; (2) propose acceptable levels in those skills; (3) suggest effective ways to assess proficiency; and (4) develop a strategy to disseminate the findings to the nation's schools, businesses, and homes.

The Commission identified five competencies (i.e., skills necessary for workplace success) and three foundations (i.e., skills and qualities that underlie competencies).


´COMPETENCIES - effective workers can productively use:


Resources - allocating time, money, materials, space, and staff;
Interpersonal Skills - working on teams, teaching others, serving customers,
leading, negotiating and working well with people from culturally diverse
Information - acquiring and evaluating data, organizing and maintaining files,
interpreting and communicating, and using computers to process
Systems - understanding social, organizational, and technological systems,
monitoring and correcting performance, and designing or improving
Technology - selecting equipment and tools, applying technology to specific
tasks, and maintaining and trouble-shooting technologies.


´FOUNDATIONS - competence requires:


Basic Skills - reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking, and
Thinking Skills - thinking creatively, making decisions, solving problems,
seeing things in the mind's eye, knowing how to learn, and reasoning;
Personal Qualities - individual responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-
management, and integrity.

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School-Sponsored Enterprise


A school-sponsored enterprise is an enterprise in which goods or services are produced by students as part of their school program. School-sponsored enterprises typically involve students in the management of a project that may involve the sale of goods for use by others. Enterprises may be undertaken on or off the school site but are always part of the school's programs.

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School-to-Work Coordinator


Individuals assigned or hired to oversee and implement the require components of a school-to-work system, including school-based activities, work-based activities, and connecting activities. At the State level, school-to-work coordinators may be responsible for drafting a state plan; coordinating state efforts with other national and state legislation; organizing technical assistance, follow up, and placement assistance for STW stakeholders; and monitoring local partnership plans and activities.

At the local level, school-to-work coordinators may be involved in drafting local plans; recruiting and coordinating business partners; organizing technical assistance, follow up, and placement assistance for local STW stakeholders; and monitoring local partnership plans and activities for program improvement purposes. Coordinators must be knowledgeable of community resources; labor markets; school operations; and posses negotiation, team-building, leadership, and administrative skills.

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School-to-Work Opportunities Program

As defined in the Act, general requirements of a "School-to-Work Opportunities program" include:


´integrated school-based and work-based learning that integrates academic and occupational learning and links between secondary and postsecondary education,
´the opportunity for participating students to complete a career major,
´the provision of a strong experience in and understanding of all aspects of the industry a student is preparing to enter, and
´equal access for students to a full range of program components and related activities, such as recruitment, enrollment, and placement activities. However, these services are not offered as an entitlement.


In addition to general program requirements, a school-to-work program also must feature a school-based learning component, a work-based learning component, and a connecting activities component. At a minimum, these programs should include:


School-Based Learning Component


1. Career awareness and career exploration and counseling programs beginning at the earliest possible age, but not later than 7th grade;
2. Career major selection not later than the beginning of 11th grade;
3. A program of study that meets the academic standards the state has established for all students, including, where applicable, standards established under the Goals 2000 Act, and meets the requirements for postsecondary education preparation and skill certificate award;
4. A program of instruction and curriculum that integrates academic and vocational learning and incorporates instruction to the extent practicable, in all aspects of an industry;
5. Regular evaluations of students and dropouts to identify their academic strengths and weaknesses, workplace knowledge, goals, and need for additional learning opportunities; and
6. Procedures that ease student entry into additional training or post-secondary education programs, and that ease the transfer of students between education and training programs.


Work-Based Learning Component


1. Work experience opportunities;
2. Job training and work experiences coordinated with learning in school-based programs that are relevant to students' career major choices, and lead to the award of skill certificates;
3. Workplace mentoring;
4. Instruction and activities in general work place competencies, including positive work attitudes, employability, and practicable skills; and
5. Broad instruction, to the extent practicable, in all aspects of the industry.


Connecting Activities Component


1. Matching students with work-based learning opportunities of employers;
2. School-site mentors to act as liaisons among school, employer and community partners;
3. Technical assistance to small- and medium-sized firms and other parties;
4. Assistance to schools and employers in integrating school-based and work-based learning;
5. Encouraging active participation of employers in cooperation with local education officials;
6. Assistance to participants in finding jobs, continuing their education, or entering additional training and linking them with other community services to assure a successful transition;
7. Collecting and analyzing post-program outcomes of participants; and
8. Linking youth development activities in this Act with other employer and industry strategies.

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School Tutors


Individuals who work with students to help them understand topics or concepts that need reinforcement. Tutoring activities may take place during or after school or work, and may or may not be part of a structured school program. In addition to academic course work, tutors may work with students to address career or personal development issues. Tutors may be paid or unpaid.

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Secondary School


A school comprising any span of grades beginning with the next grade following an elementary or middle-school (usually 7, 8, or 9) and ending with or below grade 12. Both junior high schools and senior high schools are included.

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Service Learning


Service learning is an instructional method that combines community service with a structured school-based opportunity for reflection about that service, emphasizing the connections between service experiences and academic learning. Although most service-learning activities vary by educational purpose, most programs balance students' need to learn with recipients' need for service. Students benefit by acquiring skills and knowledge, realizing personal satisfaction and learning civic responsibility, while the community benefits by having a local need addressed.

Custer High School, a construction magnet located in Milwaukee, WI, seeks to equip youth with academic and technical skills that will prepare them for work and postsecondary education. As part of a unique service learning project, the school district has teamed with a local community development corporation to purchase and renovate boarded-up homes. Students produce cost estimates, analyze and design structures, and apply advanced carpentry, plumbing and electrical skills that they learn in school. Remodeled homes are sold to low-income families living in the community at the lowest possible cost consistent with good business practice. A diploma and Career Certificate are awarded to students upon graduation.

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Skill Certificate


A skill certificate is a portable, industry-recognized credential that certifies the holder has demonstrated competency on a core set of content and performance standards related to an occupational cluster area. Serving as a signal of skill mastery at industry-benchmarked levels, skill certificates may assist students in finding work within their community, state, or elsewhere in the nation. When issued by a School-to-Work Opportunities Act program under an approved state plan, state-developed skill standards used for certification purposes must be at least as challenging as standards ultimately endorsed by the National Skill Standards Board.

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Skill Standard


A skill standard specifies the knowledge and competencies required to perform successfully in the workplace. Standards are being developed along a skill continuum ranging from (1) general work readiness skills, and (2) core skills or knowledge for an industry, to (3) skills common to an occupational cluster, and (4) specific occupational skills. Standards may cover basic and advanced academic competencies, employability competencies, and technical competencies. Development of these standards is tied to efforts to certify students' and workers' skills.

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State Educational Agency


As defined in the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, the term state educational agency means the "officer or agency primarily responsible for the state supervision of public elementary and secondary schools." In many states, a state board of education and/or chief state school officer supervises the operation of public schools. State board members are typically appointed by the governor, or elected by partisan or nonpartisan ballot. Chief state school officers (sometimes called state superintendents) are typically appointed by the state board, or elected by partisan or non-partisan ballot. A small number of states either rely solely on their state board of education or chief state school officer for educational governance.

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Team-teaching is when two or more instructors work together to design and teach curricula in multiple subjects that are presented to the same group of students. Merging teacher talents and knowledge of different disciplines with new instructional materials can help students to better understand relationships across and within their educational programs. Participating instructors may choose to teach classes together, or may present material individually based on a commonly agreed format. To encourage material development, teachers typically share common planning periods so that they may work together to coordinate their subject matter, and participate in joint staff development programs.

The electronics and applied physics teachers at Alderdice High School (Pittsburgh, PA), for example, meet regularly to write curricula that dovetail across the two classes. Weekly planning sessions are used to develop instructional plans and design units that link across subjects. Moreover, the two teachers regularly visit each other's classes to demonstrate and explain how physics and electronics interrelate. For example, the physics teacher may come to the electronics class to describe the underlying principles upon which electricity is based, while the electronics teacher may share equipment and technical materials to provide applied context for academic concepts taught in physics class.

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Tech Prep


Tech Prep is the name given to programs that offer at least four years of sequential course work at the secondary and postsecondary levels to prepare students for technical careers. Programs typically begin in eleventh grade and result in an award of an associate's degree or certificate after two years of postsecondary training. Other Tech Prep combinations are also available, depending on local consortium arrangements. Tech Prep is designed to build student competency in academic subjects and to provide broad technical preparation in a career area. Course work integrates academic and vocational subject matter and may provide opportunities for dual enrollment in academic and vocational courses at secondary and postsecondary institutions.

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Technical Education


Technical education is a program of vocational instruction that prepares individuals for positions, such as draftsman or lab technician, in different occupational areas requiring a range of skills and abilities. Technical education typically includes the study of the sciences and mathematics underlying a technology, as well as the methods, skills, the materials commonly used and the services performed in the technology.

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Thinking Skills


Thinking skills are cognitive abilities used to organize, evaluate, and process information. According to the SCANS Report for America 2000, thinking skills may be disaggregated into six distinct categories that are found, to a varying extent, in many occupations.


1. Creative thinking - uses imagination freely, combines ideas or information in new ways, combines ideas or information in new ways, makes connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, and reshapes goals in ways that reveal new possibilities.
2. Decision making - specifies goals and constraints, generates alternatives, considers, risks, and evaluates and chooses best alternatives.
3. Problem solving - recognizes that a problem exists (i.e., there is a discrepancy between what is and what should or could be), identifies possible reasons for the discrepancy, devises and implements a plan of action to resolve it, evaluates and monitors progress, and revises plan as indicated by findings.
4. Seeing things in the mind's eye - organizes and processes symbols, graphs, objects or other information; for example, sees a building from a blueprint, a system's operation from schematics, or the flow of work activities from narrative descriptions.
5. Knowing how to learn - recognizes and uses learning techniques to apply and adapt new knowledge and skills in both familiar and changing situations and is aware of learning tools such as personal learning styles, and formal and informal learning strategies and information.
6. Reasoning - discovers a rule or principle underlying the relationship between two or more objects and applies it in solving a problem. Uses logic to draw conclusions from available information, extracts rules or principles form a set of objects or written text, applies rules and principles to a new situation, or determines which conclusions are correct when given facts.

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Vocational Education


As defined by the U.S. Department of Education, vocational education consists of "organized educational programs, services, and activities that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment, or for additional preparation for a career that does no require a baccalaureate or an advanced degree." Secondary and postsecondary vocational course work is typically offered in three areas:


1. Consumer & homemaking education - courses intended to prepare students for roles outside the paid labor market. Topics include child care, meal preparation, nutrition, and household management.
2. General labor market preparation - courses that teach general employment skills without necessarily preparing students for paid employment in a specific field. Instruction includes introductory word processing, industrial courses, business education, and work experience and career exploration.
3. Specific labor market preparation - courses that teach skills and provide information required in a particular vocation. Areas of specific labor market preparation include: agriculture, business, marketing and distribution, health, occupational home economics (i.e., preparation for paid employment in the service sector), trade and industry, and technology and communication.

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Work-Based Learning


Work-based learning experiences are activities at the high school level that involve actual work experience or connect classroom learning to work. The least intensive level of exposure to work-based learning might occur in traditional work experience and vocational programs (including cooperative education, distributive education, or vocational courses) that do not offer work site experience. The next level of exposure may entail the integration of academic and vocational/occupational curricula, as in the case of Tech Prep programs, but would not include work site experience. At the highest level, there is full integration of academic and vocational/occupational curriculum with work site experience.

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Youth Apprenticeship


Youth apprenticeship is typically a multi-year program that combines school- and work-based learning in a specific occupational area or occupational cluster and is designed to lead directly into either a related post-secondary program, entry-level job, or registered apprenticeship program. Youth apprenticeships may or may not include financial compensation.

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*U.S. G.P.O.:1996-412-067/50432